How to switch your bank account

Switching to a new current account is easier than ever and could save you hundreds of pounds. Here is how to get a new bank account in just seven days.


Why do a current account switch?

Getting a new current account can make you money. It could come with:

  • A cheaper or free overdraft

  • Interest on your balance

  • A cash reward, e.g. £150 for switching

  • Lower fees and monthly charges

  • Cashback or rewards on your spending

  • Account features like internet banking

  • Better customer service

How to change accounts

You can choose to either:

Whichever service you decide to use, follow these simple steps:

1. Choose a new current account

Work out what features you need from your new bank account. For example

  • If you are in your overdraft, switching to an account with a cheaper overdraft could save you money

  • If you usually have a positive balance, you could choose an account that pays interest or comes with other benefits

Here is how to choose the right bank account for your financial circumstances.

Can you switch if you are in your overdraft?

If your new bank accepts your application, you can switch your account if you are in your overdraft already. You need to confirm how much you owe as part of your application.

2. Apply for it

Once you have found a new account, apply for it online, by post, in a branch or by phone. Here is how to apply for a bank account.

Complete the following to open your new account and switch your old account over:

  • An application form

  • A Current Account Switch Agreement

  • A Current Account Closure Instruction

You can use these to provide your personal details and your old account number, sort code, bank name and debit card number, if required.

You do not need any extra documents to switch your account, but your new bank will run a credit check and may need paperwork to prove your identity.

If any of the personal details you give do not match those on your old bank account, the switch may be delayed. This includes:

  • If your address does not match or is formatted differently

  • Your date of birth is different on one account

  • Your surname has changed or your middle name is only included on one account

If any of these personal details have changed since you opened your old account, contact your bank to update them before you start the switch.

3. Choose a switching date

You can choose the date your account is switched, which must be:

  • In seven or more working days

  • On a working day, i.e. not a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday

Try to avoid choosing a day when direct debits or standing orders are due to come out of your account.

You can continue to use your old account until the day of the switch. However, do not set up new direct debits, standing orders or other payments out of your old account because they will not be moved to the new account.

4. Let the banks do the rest

Your new bank will:

  • Confirm your switching date

  • Complete the switching process

  • Let your employer know your new account number so they can send your wages there*

  • Move any direct debits and standing orders over to your new account

  • Let you know when it is finished

*You can also provide your employer with these details yourself

Once this is complete, you can start using your new account. If you chose a full switch, your old bank close your account automatically.

Which switch service should you use?

When you complete the application for your new account, decide if you want to use:

The Current Account Switch Service

You can use it to close your old account and move all your payments that come in and out of the account to your new bank account.

It works with almost every current account in the UK, takes seven working days and means your old and new bank must:

  • Let you choose the date the switch happens

  • Keep you informed throughout the process

  • Make sure your salary or pension income goes to the new account

  • Move your standing orders and direct debits to the new account

  • Send any payments made to your old account onto to your new one for 36 months

The switching service is free, although you still have to pay any fees that come with your new account. Your bank has to pay you back if anything goes wrong and you lose out on interest or get charged fees during the switch.

The Partial Switch Service

If you use the Partial Switch Service instead, you can:

  • Leave your old bank account open

  • Only move across some of your payments

However, you get no guarantee it will be completed within seven days, that payments will be redirected or that you will be refunded for interest and charges.

Partial switches are much less common, so ask your new bank if they offer this service.

What accounts can you switch?

You can switch an account in your sole name into a new account in your name. This can be a new sole account or one you will hold jointly with someone else.

If you have a joint account, everyone named on it has to agree to the switch. You could only transfer it into another joint account held by the same people.

You can also use CASS to switch a current account held by a charity or small business as long as it has an annual turnover of less than £6.5million and fewer than fifty employees.

New bank accounts are launched all the time, so compare all of the best options to make sure you get the right one for your circumstances.